Chapter 13   The Cell Master.  Joe Sorrenti  from New Jersey, USA

interview date:7.Apr.2003
Please introduce your self. You may be as thorough as you wish. Feel free to include or omit any detail about yourself.
I'm Joe Sorrenti. I reside in New Jersey and work for the same accounting firm as the previous Cell Master, Bob Umlas. The Excel work I do primarily consists of developing custom Tax applications in Excel and VBA.

In my free time I enjoy hiking, cycling, fishing, reading, tinkering with computers, and surfing the net. I was once an avid home beer brewer, but lost interest in the hobby.

When do you remember using Excel for the very first time? Can you remember any specific details from that first time?
My first exposure to Excel was version 4 in 1992. Prior to that, all my spreadsheet use was relegated to Lotus 123 and Quattro Pro. I was impressed with the toolbars and graphical user interface, but found the XLM macro language to be arcane.

When do you remember writing your first formula or VBA code for Excel?
I started learning VBA in early 1994 with the release of Excel 5. I do not recall what my first VBA code was, but it was probably code typed in from an example in the user manual. Yes, software was packaged with real manuals back then. My first formula was =Sum(A1:A4) or something very similar.

On average, how many hours per day do you spend working with Excel formulas and/or VBA code?
It varies with the project I am working on. At times, I may work with it for 8+ hours a day, and on other occasions, I will not use Excel at all.

Which do you find most rewarding to work with: Formulas or VBA in Excel? Please tell us why?
I have always preferred VBA over formulas, the main reason being that I work more with VBA than formulas on the job. However, I enjoy the challenge of assembling a complex worksheet formula.

If you were going to give a novice, just starting out with Excel, some advice, what would it be?
I'd recommend lurking in the Microsoft.Public.Excel.* newsgroups on usenet. Lots of good advice is provided as well as solutions to real world problems. Working and experimenting with the product coupled with using online help is also a viable option.

Books are another good tool, but should not be used exclusively. Finally, there is a wealth of Excel information available online.

Please provide a sample of your first work (either as a formula or vba code) in Excel and tell us about it.
Range("A1").Value = InputBox("Enter Value")

What is your mental attitude when you are preparing to write formulae or VBA code? And what is your working environment?
I like to begin the day with a super size cup of coffee. My preference is Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, but I usually settle for the free coffee at the office.

My work environment is a standard corporate cubicle located 8.31227 meters from the desk of the world famous Array Formula Wizard, and Excel MVP, Bob Umlas. It is rare for a day to pass without Bob stopping at my desk to demonstrate his latest and greatest Excel 'discovery'.

Finally, please give us something to think about - a reminder of your words here; a phrase that has helped you; a link to your own website. Anything that you think is important for the readers to remember.

Thank you very much for answering the questions.

This Black belt is yours...

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